OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team in top position
Overall best-time for Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor on special stage 4
Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud put foot down after slip
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team is once again surprising the rally world at the "Wales Rally GB", the last run to the FIA World Rally Championship. After day one the Austrian OMV Team Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor lies in sensational third overall place. Not to mention that Stohl achieved overall best time on special stage four. Henning Solberg and Cato Menkerud (Nor) weren't as lucky on Friday morning. Following a slip the Norwegian duo lost almost five minutes.
A perfect day
Manfred Stohl did everything right on the first day of the Wales Rally GB. The 34-year-old OMV driver was in absolute top form at his tenth assignment on the British Isle so far. Following six of 17 special stages the privateer is only 48,1 seconds behind leader Marcus Gronholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC). Thus the third-placed of leg one has has the opportunity to even improve his position, since he is only 22,3 seconds behind four times Wales winner Petter Solberg (Nor/Subaru Impreza) - currently in second place. Highlight of the day was definitely the special stage best-time on SS 4 where the OMV duo Stohl/Minor left the opponents in their wake. Stohl: "It is great when you can convert your good feeling into good results. Our car performs faultlessly and we can keep up with the enormous speed of the top. This gives a boost to our self-confidence for the next two days. And the slippery road conditions are also to our advantage."
Henning turns up the speed after slip
Henning Solberg gambled a top position away due to a mishap on special stage three. The 33-year-old Norwegian slipped off the road following a spin and ended up on the embankment, lying on the side. Unfortunately it took very long until enough spectators had arrived to push the Expert Peugeot 307 WRC back up again. All in all the OMV driver lost almost five minutes and thereby also the aspired place among the top 5. Following leg one Solberg lies almost seven minutes behind in 14th place. Solberg: "When you want to keep up with the top you'v got to take a higher risk. With us it didn't work out today. Now all that counts is to attack. I am convinced that we will be able to move up several places during the next two days."